Alex Hales completed a hectic 24-hour period by starring with a Man of the Match performance on his Big Bash debut.
The Nottinghamshire opener was summoned from England to replace the injured Marlon Samuels and scored 89 from just 52 deliveries on his maiden appearance for the Melbourne Renegades.
After flying from London to Sydney, via Abu Dhabi, the t20 specialist overcame a steady – and presumably nervous – start to plunder five boundaries and eight sixes before falling in the 16th over.
“It was just a bit of close your eyes and swing as hard as you can."
With a century in sight, he lofted Moises Henriques to deep extra cover, where county team-mate Michael Lumb took a well-judged catch.
“I was lucky enough to get a good sleep on the plane and I knew that if I got through the tough bit at the start with Brett Lee bowling very well, I knew it was a good deck and knew we could make up for it,” said Hales.
Hales shared in a stand of 112 in just 10.3 overs with Ben Rohrer, who scored 57, a partnership that propelled the Renegades to an eventual total of 178-5.
“Me and Benny took our time and knew it would get easier. He played nicely there towards the end.”
Slow left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe bore the brunt of Hales’ assault, going for 50 runs in his three overs. His final over ended with the Nottinghamshire batsman launching him for three consecutive maximums, two of which went for 111 and 109 metres respectively, the two biggest hits in this year’s competition.
“It was just a bit of ‘close your eyes and swing as hard as you can’,” said the 24-year old.
The Renegades restricted Sydney Sixers to 149 all out in their reply, with Darren Pattinson claiming figures of 3-34.
Lumb made 21 for the Sixers, who cannot make the last four now but Alex Hales – and the Renegades – can now look forward to a home semi final at the Etihad Stadium next Tuesday.